The Brown Trout season has just passed an we are now well underway into the Winter Grayling Season. The Brown Trout fishing this year on the River Tweed was slow to start, with a very cold spring leading right into a hot dry summer. The fishing was challenging at times but if you were prepared to think outside the box and look closely at what tactics and techniques which suited the river conditions at that given, time then it was possible to enjoy some fantastic fishing.
would like to echo this message with Grayling fishing. The feeling I get from the general public is that they want to go out to their favourite spots on the river, use their favourite method and catch loads of fish. in an ideal world this would be great but it doesn’t happen like that.
My question to the seasoned angler is what happens when you don’t catch anything in your favourite spot or you turn up to see it already occupied? What happens if the method that usually works for you doesn’t and you are left pondering and are thinking about heading off home?
Well hopefully you “think outside the box” and look at all the possible variables off why you aren’t catching. You have to take into consideration the depth of your flies, the pace of the river current, features that hold fish, Weather Conditions i.e sunlight, fly life for that particular month and water clarity. The latter for me is the most important when fishing.
If the water clarity is such that you can see right into the middle of the river from the bank, then you should be wary of your approach to the river and tactics. Although more tolerable than Trout, Grayling are not much different and will be spooked if you crash into the water with heavy flies and lines bugging downstream in Gin clear water.
Ideal tactics for bright weather, low water and very clear water clarity would be to use an upstream long nymph approach. I.e. the Bung/ Trio or Duo on a normal fly line with a long leader from your Dry fly to your nymph. this means that you are fishing at a greater distance between you and your quarry.
Once you have fished a run through with this method and hopefully catching a few fish I would then suggest to move further into the river and change to your normal double nymph/ bugging method and fish out the normal likely looking areas. When you have fished a whole run through move on.
It is very important to keep on the move when grayling fishing and fish likely looking runs until you find the fish. Remember Grayling tend to Shoal up during the winter.
If you are still not catching fish then the last thing to look at is the diameter of your Nylon. My go to diameter of Nylon on the business end for dry fly and nymph fishing is always 0.12mm monofilament (I use a polish brand very similar to Stroft which is called Jaxon) . If I am not catching fish after looking at all the other variables I shall change down to 0.10mm and finally 0.8mm in extreme circumstances.
My main message to Anglers out on the river is to never give up, you never know what’s just round the corner, it could be a massive shoal of Grayling or a UK Record Grayling. But if you do give up you will never know. Even if you do not catch anything, Don’t beat yourself up ,the fish are there, you just have to go home and think about your tactics and what you can change or do better to connect with fish on your next outing.
If you would like to try and catch Grayling this Winter, whether you are a beginner or if you are seeking further advice on your fishing then why not get in touch with Martin. Martin is running a Festive rate for Guided Grayling Fishing Days until the end of January at £100 for a full day or £50 for a half day.
You can contact Martin through the Fishtweed section of the fishpal website or go straight to River Tweed Guiding for more information.
Tight lines and Merry Christmas
07456 499 897